Slug Gun for Deer Question: Does barrel need to be rifled???

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Redcoat3340, Aug 30, 2021.

  1. SOAB

    SOAB Member

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    Alright, I don't want to derail this thread too much, so here we go.

    Rifled slugs are not spin stabilized, neither are Brenneke slugs. They're stabilized much like a Birdy from Badminton. The weight is focused up front, and the lighter rear end/skirt stabilizes the projectile while it travels downrange.

    Understand that it's important to know your hunting grounds, the restrictions they pose, and your gear requirements.

    Is a rifled slug accurate out of a smooth bore shotgun, definitely, to an extent. If you're pushing a shotgun passed 100 yards on the regular, then a rifled slug probably isn't your choice.

    If you're hunting in forested areas where a 75 yard shot is a rare sight, well then a rifled slug will do you plenty fine.

    A sabot slug can tighten up groups and get you beyond that 100 yard point consistently, so do those benefits justify the increased price per round?

    Only you and your situation can decide that.

    Practice makes perfect, it turns irresponsibility into understanding of gear and limitations. That helps a budding hunter take home game consistently and ethically.

    Even with that ratty smoothbore only sporting a bead sight.

    ~ The Buck of a lifetime
     
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  2. BillTell

    BillTell Member

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    SOAB, I agree with you totally. Almost. I stand by my statement that you should have more than a bead sight. And I would drop that yardage figure to 50 yards. I believe with a smoothbore, any shot over 50 yards, is a crapshoot for MOST people. If you REALLY practice, know your gun REALLY well, (again I refer to my "Paper Plate" standard) THAT's how far you should ethically hunt with YOUR PARTICULAR GUN.
    I think if you're not concerned about taking out legs, gut shots, spine shots, missing vitals shots, and watching wounded deer run off, then by all means, hunt with a bead and Foster slug from a smoothbore. If you'd like to put a deer flat out with one shot, use a gun you can pass the "Paper Plate" test with.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2021
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  3. SOAB

    SOAB Member

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    While you're on the right track, I think you're focusing hard on the image of a clapped out pump with just that bead sight.

    To get the most from your smoothbore shooting foster slugs, a scope is a great choice. That really extends your effective range to about 100 yards. Then it's a matter of load choice and preference.

    While rifle sights can get you there, I believe they are great for smoothbore slug barrels out to 75 comfortably.

    A bead sight, when used in the context of slug hunting, is best for 50-60 yards. With a little range time, those shots can be made consistently, inside of the deer's vital zone. And yes, passing the "dreaded" paper plate test.

    That's the importance of understanding your gear, and the limitations of said gear, as well as your own limitations.

    If you're worried about someone taking bad shots on deer, that becomes more an operator question than a gear question.
     
  4. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    We are fully aware of rifled bores vs smooth bore shotgun barrels, thanks. No need to SHOUT, it doesn’t make a point or statement any more valid. :)

    Stay safe.
     
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  5. crstrode

    crstrode Member

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    A shotgun with a rifled barrel is, by definition, a rifle.
     
  6. BillTell

    BillTell Member

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    Sorry, I'm old and hard of hearing. That being said, I wasn't shouting, rather trying to emphasize points. (that's what capitals meant in the Old Days) And I believe a shotgun with a rifled barrel is still a shotgun. I think according to ATF it needs to fire a metallic cartridge in order to be a rifle. This fires shotgun shells. There's probably other technical differences I'm not aware of. This is why I switched to handgun hunting years ago. I'm in a no-rifle county. I'm more accurate at 100yds. with my handguns than a shotgun.
     
  7. Cvans

    Cvans Member

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    That's impressive.
     
  8. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    So, a 10 point buck appears at 150 yards out. The scoped Cantilever rifled barrel with the right sabot will work here.

    Tell me your not going to try a shot with the smooth bore , iron signt shotgun? :evil:
     
  9. SOAB

    SOAB Member

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    Nah, a good hunter would know not risk it, especially since they're in the wrong place with that gear.

    Maybe they should have brought their rifled 20 gauge, their .350 legend or their inline muzzleloader to hunt the edge of that field.

    Then again, I recommend the Hunting forum if you need to brush up on responsible hunting, and hunting strategies.

    ;)

    ~ Leo
     
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  10. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    ^^^^^^^ THIS ^^^^^^^
    (not ethically at least)
     
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  11. KenW.

    KenW. Member

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    I was taking deer with a Winchester model 12 many years before I heard that rifled shotgun barrels existed.
     
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  12. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    A smooth bore shotgun shoots Foster slugs just fine. Rifled shotguns are more designed to fill the gap between shotgun and rifle hunting in states that are shotgun only. For these, you must shoot Sabot slugs. It will say right on the box and they look much different compared to regular Foster slugs. We had a thread not too long ago about the effective hunting range of Foster slugs through a smooth bore shotgun. In general, 50 yards is about what you can reasonably expect. You can get closer to 100 yards if you have better sights than a bead, good support, have tested your hold over at range etc. Sabot slugs will act more like a rifle round resulting in higher accuracy and more range.

    A lot of which to choose depends on money and where you will hunt. A shotgun with a rifled barrel, rifle/better sights, and sabot slugs will be more expensive than an off shelf Stevens 320, Mossberg 500/88, or 870 Express. But you get the better accuracy and range. If you will be hunting in thicker brush where you won't even see 100 yards in front of you, then stick with the lower cost Foster slugs.
     
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  13. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    The 20 gauge Sabot slugs of today are .45-50 caliber jacketed or Monolithic rifle bullets skived and tipped hollow points that have energy ranges of a ton at the muzzle. They are very similar to the .454 Casull in ballistics . They probably have plenty of deer killing power at 200 yards . The recoil is less than a 12 gauge slug by about 30% in equal weight guns. Up close to 50 yards and less it's kind of hard to beat the ounce 12 gauge Brenneke or Foster slug for stopping power in a properly sighted gun as they are close to .75 caliber and only a couple hundred feet per second slower at that close in range. If you live in a slug only hunting state I would certainly go for a rifled bore 20 gauge , and a second barrel for birds for a youth or adult , these days. I have , in a way :)

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/my-weird-ithaca-stake-out-20-ga.894396/.
     
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  14. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    No.

    A standard smoothbore with rifle sights and brenneke or Foster rifled slugs will be plenty accurate and extremely effective enough out to any realistic distance. For many years men even used bead sights for the job. Plus the shotgun will retain the versatility of a smoothbore vs the rifled barrel which is only good for one kind of ammunition: sabot slugs.
     
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  15. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    For many years, I hunted a state park in Maryland that was shotgun slug hunting only. My Mossberg was fitted with a 12 gauge rifled barrel with cantilever scope mount. Despite the vicious recoil, I could shoot a 3.5 inch group at 100 yards. Many deer were downed with this outfit. Then Maryland changed the regulation to include 50 caliber muzzle-loaders for this hunt. I bought a CVA Optima and learned how to load this rifle so that 2 inch groups at 100 yards became the norm for me. Recoil is quite moderate with this outfit and it shoots 295 grain Power Belts with a lot of energy; deer are downed quickly.

    I suggest hunting with a modern muzzle-loader if you have this option for a shotgun only region. Recoil is far less.

    TR
     
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  16. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Simplest answer to title question:. For sabot slugs, rifled. For Foster or Brenneke, smooth although I've found good accuracy from Brenneke slugs in rifled guns. The first BRI sabot slugs were S&W way back in the early 70s and there weren't many rifled guns around. One for police (don't shoot from full choke guns, they'll break at the waist) and one for hunting (softer). I have a box of each in the collection.
     
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  17. AK Hunter

    AK Hunter Member

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    The smooth bore shotgun will shoot rifled slugs or Brenneke but you can't get much distance with them 50 to 75 yds is about tops. The rifled bore shotgun can reach much farther by shooting the sabot round. I have dropped deer 200yds out with my rifled barrel on my Mossberg 500.
     
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  18. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    There is a certain amount of brag or something in these posts sometimes. I have tried many combinations of slugs and shotguns over the years. There is a reason that the charts only go to 125 yards. I have shot many deer and have seen many shot. First of all slugs tend to pass right through. Not nearly as lethal as you would think. Pie plate accuracy is probably going to result in a wounded deer that may survive long enough to die somewhere else a day or two later. Smoothbore slugs lose accuracy very fast, 50 yards is a long shot with them. A rifled barrel helps with both Foster type slugs and Sabot slugs. Good sights and practice also help. 75 yards is reasonable shot with a rifled barrel a Sabot slugs with good sights. I use a red dot sight. Longer is possible but not for beginners. That is what we are supposed to be doing here. Help an honest question. not bragging about improbable shots.
     
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  19. Rodfac

    Rodfac Member

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    Whew...some good replies in the posts above.

    I'll add that my own son did right well with a 20 ga Remington 870, his first gun, at age 13 some 35 years ago. The 20 fit him fairly well, and the recoil was not abusive. We also bought him a slug bbl. for it, cylinder choked and mounted with open rifle type sights. From a sitting position, back against a tree trunk, he could get his first three Winchester 20 ga. slugs into 3" or less at 50 yds...that was the practical limit of gun/load/boy shooting. It served him well of the next 5 yrs with a credible buck each season. BTW, that gun and most shotguns I've since tried with slugs was particular as to which brand of ammunition it liked. Winchester was great but Remingtons, or Brennekes et. al. were all over the paper.

    At the time in lower NY state, along the Pennsy border, shotguns were the only legal gun and I used a 12 ga. Ithaca M37 Deerslayer with rifle sights. Light weight, it was brutal on the shoulder & cheek spot weld but would cluster 3 Brenneke slugs out to 75 yds in less than 3". A good combination for the heavily timbered ridges that we frequented back then, but definitely no fun to shoot. It too was particular as to ammunition.

    Good luck to your son and to you Dad...don't over gun him and you'll both end up enjoying that little 20 ga for decades to come. The slug bbl. with sights on it is a good investment, BTW. Best Regards, Rod
     
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  20. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    I like it.... all aspects of it as you describe boy/gun/stance/tree
     
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  21. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    and getting hammered into the tree ! :)
     
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